RideLog 20140222 | Dahlonega to Suches

Start Odo: 369
End Odo: 487
Miles Covered: 118
Destination: Wolf Pen Gap Store, Suches, GA
Weather Outlook:  High: 66°F, 19°C | Low: 38°F, 3°C & AM Clouds/PM Sun

After a slow moving week caused by the anticipation of the good weather weekend, Saturday finally came around. I had some stuff that I needed to finish on Saturday morning leaving the afternoon free to head out. Early in the morning, the various electronics were plugged in to charge.

The Electronics:

  • Scala G9 Bluetooth Headset – wired into the helmet with built in FM radio for any local news as required.
  • iPhone – which would connect via bluetooth to the G9 for Google Maps Voice GPS and also in case I need to connect with Home while riding
  • GoPro – the trusty camera. A battery drainer. Charged up two batteries. GoPro to be mounted on the handlebar, right of center to catch the tacho as well as the road ahead.

I wanted to get to Dahlonega as soon as possible, so chose to head up the Highway for a boring ride up. This ride on the boring highway – SR400, reaching speeds up to 80mph, was helpful in confirming that I needed to add priority to-do items. A windshield which is currently ‘WIP-Work In Progress’  and upgrade the full face helmet from the average Bilt helmet I currently have. I would welcome any recommendations for a good full face helmet. Please use the comments section below. I also need to re-situate the Scala G9 speakers inside the helmet. As they are right now, it’s a pretty tight fit over the ears, causing some discomfort.

To do:

  • Windshield:  To negate the buffeting on the chest and helmet. Especially at 65+mph speeds.
  • Upgrade Helmet: The current Bilt Helmet has a lot of wind noise and even with the internal pumped air fitting, tends to lose position at 70+mph.
  • Re-position Scala G9 speakers inside Helmet. Need to be more recessed, allowing room for the ears ! This would be a stop gap measure till a new helmet is acquired. *Where’s the piggy bank?*

Reached Dahlonega in good time. A quick stop at Lake Zwerner, just at the start of the climb up to Suches. There was not much traffic on this stretch. I expected a lot more Bikers to be out. Perhaps, most of them chose to wait till Sunday to get a full day’s ride in. This worked to my benefit. I knew, not having ridden for a long time, I would be rusty and needed to allow myself time to refresh riding on hills and curves roads, and not be under any pressure of other experienced Bikers breathing down my neck impatiently. Last thing I’d want to be is a rolling block to their smooth ride up! It was good to get back on two wheels and that too on the Speedmaster. Just as I had imagined, I was certainly a bit rusty handling some of the sharper curves. I tended to run wide towards the center line when turning into the curve. Even crossing the line on one occasion. Less traffic on the roads played in my favor here as well. Some more regular miles on similar roads will soon get rid of that ‘rust’. A quick stop along the way up to Suches at Chastatee Lookout Point, just before Woody Gap and then down to Suches.

While taking a breather at Wolf Pen Gap Store, met Morris and had a brief chat with him. He lives in Suches and runs Bike Group Tours around the area, as he informed me. I’m sure I’ll bump into him again soon.

I had planned to test out my audio recording set up on the way back. I hooked up a mic, positioned just inside the chin of the full face helmet and connected it to the GoPro camera. I wanted to try out ‘talking/recording’ while riding as well as the sound quality over the external noise from the wind and the bike. A short section can be heard in the video added at the bottom of the page. Quite happy with the audio quality on watching the initial raw video.  What do you think?

I drove back without any stops and made good time through the more enjoyable backroads. All in all a good ride and looking forward to a longer ride next time. I will probably ride up to Ellijay, GA next.

Some images and video from the Ride today.

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